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How to Fishtail Your Own Hair Step by Step

Updated on October 14, 2013
weavesandbraids profile image

I am an African Woman and almost always have my hair in weaves and braids. I am an enthusiast and write about it.

Fishtail braids are one of the favorite hairstyles this season.Over the years many celebrities have adorned their heads with the fishtail plaits for the red carpet. Kim Kardashian often does up her glossy locks in fishtail braids. Rihanna too has been seen on the red carpet with red fishtail braids.

The style looks elaborate and time consuming, but in fact is relatively easy to do.Fishtail or Herringbone braids could be casually or formally worn.

The tighter it is, the more serious a look it gives.Loose fishtail braids with tendrils of hair flying free are better left for evening occasions.

Once you master the basics you can do this on the run in the morning, or in the bathroom before a party. Its also a great look for little girls dressing up for parties.

Tips to Fishtail your own Hair

  • Start simple
  • Fishtail plait a ponytail before attempting a whole head of hair. If you have a full haired doll, practice on it.
  • The greatest difference between a fishtail braid and your normal braid is that you'll use two strands of hair instead of three.
  • For a beginner, attempt to fishtail braid your hair only when it is shoulder length or longer.
  • Use a rubber band or hair tie to secure the hair at the base, you can always remove it later

The Fishtail Braid

I will describe how to fishtail braid a ponytail here. It is the same principle regardless of whether it is a ponytail or a full head of hair. Starting with a ponytail is a great way to learn as the hair is already gathered and held together.

Step by Step

  1. Secure the ponytail at the base with an elastic band.
  2. Divide the ponytail into two roughly equal parts.
  3. Take a strand of hair from under the right half.
  4. Pull it tightly over the entire right half and hold it with the other hand under the left section.
  5. For the fishtail or herringbone design to form, the strand must pass over the entire right section and end up under the left section.
  6. Repeat - alternating the right and left sections until you get to the end of the ponytail, then secure with a rubber band.
  7. The last few twists can be made with regular braiding to keep the hair neater.
  8. As with all types of braiding, try and keep the strands equal in length for neatness.


Advantages of Fishtail Braids

  • Easily create texture - No matter how straight or fine your hair is, fishtail braids create patterns and shadows in your hair.
  • Look exotic and mysterious - The fishtail braid is becoming the hair style of the year because it looks so different. The braids (especially when they are to one side and slung over the shoulder) create an exotic air.
  • Easy to create - Once you have taken the time to learn this style, you can reproduce it at whim.
  • Add instant glam - Fishtail braids take you from an office to a dressy look in minutes. Run into the bathroom and braid your hair quickly if you need to attend a function straight from work.

Layered fishtail braids

If your hair is layered, try to divide your hair in such a way that the layers occur evenly in both divisions.

with layered hair, the tendency is to have a lot of escaped hair wisps, so you may fare better to make the braids a bit loose.

Adding a twist - Fishtail Braid your hair to one side

To start, gather all your hair to the side of the head and secure it with a plastic band.

Then divide your hair into two sections which are as equal as possible.

Repeat the steps outlined above for the fishtail braids.

How to Fishtail Braid your own Hair

It is possible to learn how to fishtail your own hair. One of the advantages of braiding your hair is that it gives the hair some rest from regular combing and brushing.

Practice the tips here and you may soon have the kardashian look

Lovely braids with curly hair extensions
Lovely braids with curly hair extensions

Some more on braids

  • Braiding your hair at night, keeps it tangle free and reduces split ends
  • If you use hair extensions, always wash and condition them
  • Try not to use extensions at the hairline
  • Fishtail braids are easy to make and quick to loosen
  • If you braid regularly, deep condition your hair at least once in 8 weeks


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    • weavesandbraids profile image

      Chuga 4 years ago from Africa

      The most importaant things to get your fishtail braids right are

      1. Make sure the strands are about the same size each time.

      2. Pull them tight

      Sart with fishtail braiding a ponytail and secure it with a band before you start.

      As with anything to do with hair, practise makes perfect, so if you have an old doll at home, fishtail braid her hair over and over. The nice thing is that once you get the basis of the style, you will be able to fishtail braid your hair almost on the go.

      Lots of luck and thanks for stopping by

    • profile image

      i need freaking help. 4 years ago

      ookkay i understand how to do all of this but it always turns out frizzy and horrible what should i do?